Federal Whistleblowing, LGBTQ Job Hunting, EPA, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, February 17, 2017


Two US Congressmen have released a federal employees’ guide to whistleblowing. “Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) and Congressman Don Beyer (D | Virginia) released a resource guide for federal employees who wish to break the Administration’s communications blackout on federal agencies. The guide explains how to safely and responsibly share information, and encourages employees to ‘Know Your Rights’ and “Know Your Options.’ In the ‘Know Your Rights’ section, federal employees can learn about which federal laws apply to them. In the ‘Know Your Options’ section, employees can learn about how to safely disseminate information to agency inspectors general and the press. The resource guide also includes links to an in-depth list of federal whistleblower statutes and information about agency inspectors general.”

A new job site aims to assist LGBTQ job seekers in Australia (where the abbreviation is apparently LGBTI; the I in this case stands for Intersex.) “The Pride in Diversity initiative is called LGBTI Inclusive Employers and involves an online platform showcasing organisations active in LGBTI workplace inclusion. The website will also help to provide greater visibility for employers in regard to LGBTI workplace inclusion and will significantly increase the awareness for job seekers of an employer’s inclusive workplace practices.”


Washington Post: The EPA’s social-media accounts have been silent since the inauguration. “Nearly a month after the presidential inauguration — and after being subject to temporary media blackout shortly thereafter — the Environmental Protection Agency has remained silent on social media, even while other federal agencies have gone on communicating as usual. In fact, the agency has posted nothing on its official Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts since Jan. 19, the day before President Trump was sworn into office. According to an agency spokesman, the social-media hiatus will continue until an EPA administrator has been officially confirmed. But the reasons for the freeze in the meantime remain unclear.”

The Drum: Google ditches 30-second unskippable ads on YouTube. “Google will no longer force YouTube viewer to watch 30-second unskippable ads, saying that as of 2018 the ad product will be ditched. However, the 20-second and 6-second unskippable formats will remain.”

CNET: Google Fiber gets a new head, but loses employees. “After showing signs of emerging from last year’s funk with Fiber 2.0, Google has appointed a new CEO to lead the Fiber unit. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, tapped broadband veteran Gregory McCray to take over the Access unit, the Alphabet team primarily focused on Fiber. McCray comes to Google from Michigan’s Aero Communications and fills the roll left vacant after Craig Barratt stepped down last year.”


Cool Cat Teacher: 3 Fast, Free Lesson Plans to Fight Fake News. “The fake news epidemic is disturbing. How do we fight it? Well, we can take a hint from how the medical community fights the flu or any other virus. We inoculate ourselves. In this post, I’ll teach you how I teach about fake news.”

Naked Security: Fallen for a fake Twitter account? Here’s how to spot them. “On Tuesday, a fake Twitter account purportedly belonging to the retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who had resigned from his position as US national security adviser the night before, hoodwinked not only the New York Times and other media outlets, but also House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Elijah Cummings.”


Billboard: Snapchat Company Values Itself at Up to $22 Billion Ahead of IPO. “The parent company of the social network Snapchat said in a regulatory filing Thursday that the IPO is likely to be priced between $14 and $16 per share. Had the IPO price matched the $30.72 per-share price obtained in its last round of financing, Snap would have a market value of about $30 billion, based on the quantity of outstanding stock listed in its IPO documents.”


JD Supra: Don’t Friend My Friends: Nonsolicitation Agreements Should Account for Social Media Strategies. “As social media becomes an important part of many companies’ sales and branding strategies, issues relating to companies’ ability to protect their investments in such strategies are emerging. Indeed, this blog has previously covered whether LinkedIn contacts can qualify as trade secrets (answer: maybe). Another such issue, recently addressed in a district court in Idaho, is whether and to what extent a nonsolicitation agreement can restrict a former employee’s Facebook interactions with the former employer’s customers.”

Horrifying! From Billboard: Dominican Radio DJ and Producer Murdered During Facebook Live Broadcast. “A radio DJ and his producer were shot dead in a shopping mall studio in the Dominican Republic during a Facebook Live broadcast.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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